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After numerous Cityscape experiences my interest shifted. I came back into
the studio and adopted the method of staring at a stained canvas until some image came to mind. Some of these
were quite theatrical. Some were
surreal or Picasso-esque... it was a
great way to digest some of the art
history i'd been exposed to over the past few years - Hopper, the Ashcan School, Diego rivera, Daumier, Goya, Derain, Van Gogh... read his beautiful letters to Theo.
Yolanda and I stayed together 5
years, traveled in Europe for 8 months - Paris, Germany, Spain's Ibiza & Formentera Islands, Morocco, Canary Islands, a ship to Mexico, a month
there & hitched from Texas to Northern Michigan where we settled for 3
years, my home town, Marquette, Michigan. I enrolled at NMU. Their Art Department emphasised more the theoretical end, which was a nice balance to Layton School of Art's experiential emphasis, edited
the literary mag and felt as at home
in the English as the Visual Arts departments.
I continued daily visual & word journals during this time. I was gradually making progress in terms of the intellectual life but emotionally the benefits weren't so evident. My self-esteem did grow with the acquisition of skills & knowledge but it had such a dismal starting place that the job was like throwing truckloads of gravel in a raging river, hoping that eventually something would take hold (I take this from a random book I read in high school tho in the book it wasn't an analogy).
The summer of 1971 I read the
complete plays of Shakespeare, The
Sun Also Rises and studied a chapter a day of Spanish & French. My life previous to art school was a rudderless drifting and now I took up daily discipline with a perhaps desparate energy.